Does anyone remember that song from the seventies, "Convoy"? ("Breaker one nine, this here's Rubber Duck. You got a copy on me, Pig Pen?")
When I sleep my dreams are usually sound tracked. Whatever is happening -- maybe I'm enjoying high tea and scones with Vincent Gallo or perhaps knitting together daisy chains with Woody Harrelson -- there is music running through my head at the same time. Now, usually these tunes are something I've listened to recently either on purpose (ipod) or accident (TV jingle). But last night, all night long, for no reason I can come up with "Convoy" was playing in my sleep. I'm sorta in a weird place right now.
Also, I met a new person the other day. A friendly chap, it seems. I mean he did say 'good morning' to me. Which is a bigger deal than you may think. Japan isn't a huge let's-make-small-talk-with-the-foreigners kinda country.
Did you know the other day I was at the ATM and started to walk away when some kid speeding like a loon around the store nearly runs right into me? He looks up, gasps and says, "What a strange Auntie!" Auntie being the *cough*affectionate*cough* term for anyone who isn't a young Big Sister or an older Grandma. China does it too. Instead of saying, "Hey, you, lady over there." You can take a deep breath and walk the tenuous tightrope of trying to decide someone's age. Is she a Big Sister or an Auntie?
Note: My father-in-law was funny not too long ago when he went fishing and met some guy who called him a Grandpa. I mean, in all reality he is 70-years old. But dear father-in-law was incensed, "That man was clearly older than I was!" We all giggled and I said, "Now now, you'll always be Uncle to me."
My advice is to guess a full age bracket lower. If you guess two age brackets lower people might confuse you for a salesman -- like talking to a clearly elderly woman but calling her a Big Sister. It's kinda tacky. Oh, and another thing, before that you must master the extremely subtle difference between the words Grandma/Grandpa (Obaasan/Ojiisan) and Auntie/Uncle (Obasan/Ojisan). Yep. Spelled nearly, exactly the same. It's merely a matter of pronunciation.
What was I talking about again? Oh yea, so when someone says 'good morning' in my direction, they pretty much own me.
Back to my new buddy. He must have been in his thirties, mid to late. Tall. Dressed well enough. I kinda wondered what he was doing walking around the school at ten am. You see, via regular letters from the principal, I know that there are all sorts of nuts out there who snatch up children or proudly display their naughty bits. I'm on high alert when I see someone new. This guy at first glance looked sane enough but then he did something that made me do a double take. He'd walk about five to ten steps, suddenly stop in his tracks, and then rip out an Ultraman pose.
And under his breath he'd whisper, "Shwatch!" You know, that famous Ultraman line. We were walking towards each other and right as he was passing me and I was just about to tackle and dog tie him, he bowed his head and said 'good morning'. I melted. No ignoring me. No 'Hey look at the Strange Auntie!' No 'Get that dog offa me!' I think he was an alright guy, a superhero in fact.
I do, however, remember exactly what he looks like. So, if ever my son comes home from school with a letter stating that some Ultraman-posing Uncle whipped out his schlong -- while stating proudly, 'Schwatz!' -- in front of a bunch of third graders, I'll be able to help with the investigation. But until then...
...I'll catch ya on the flip-flop!